Zoey – Yours are Black…

I now know every cost approximation of at least 12 different clothing pieces from 3 designers I have never heard of.

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I had been texting this lovely woman I had met on Tinder last winter, who could actually hold a conversation really well, so we decide to meet up. She resembles the stock photo I have provided. I’m just going to say, ‘In her twenties’ for the age. 5’6″. Long chocolate tresses, olive skin, and dark sultry eyes. She told me she works as a model here in Philly at Reinhardt. I have a history with a certain former Reinhardt model, (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day) so I know the talent. Plus, I’ve been described as a modelizer. (Sex in the City)

I’ve only written a blow-by-blow like this once before, (See: Marisa – 2017 to Present – Where the Hell are You? – Part II) but I feel this tale warrants it.

7:00 p.m. – Show up at her place, she isn’t 50 lbs heavier than her picture, doesn’t have a beard or Adam’s apple, and hasn’t tried to ax murder me yet. She’s actually really hot. Chemistry is great, and we actually start making out before our UBER pulls away from the curb. So far so good, Tinder.

7:15 – In the car, things are fine, she’s talking a lot about her modeling job, which is cool.

7:30 – Arrive at ice rink at City Hall and race each other to the ice. This is fun.

7:35 – So we’re there and she’s still going about her local modeling career and all the free things the vendors and designers give her. Thrifty, cool.

8:45 – Been skating for a while, I now know about the process of applying “runway makeup”, the time constraints and approximations of changing outfits depending on the number of pieces, and how to adjust hip tilt and swing, during a catwalk if your clothing piece is top-heavy vs. a long train. I now know every cost approximation of at least 12 different clothing pieces from 3 designers I have never heard of.

8:50 – She can’t talk if she’s eating, so I suggest we get food.

9:00 – We arrive at the place she suggested. It has 40ft high wooden vaulted ceilings with hanging sheer fabric for ambiance and the swankiest fucking bar I’ve ever seen.

9:03 – Sitting down. She’s been bragging for a bit, that despite being a model, she has never done cocaine. Fuck, the prices are steep, I’ll just have a soda and a salad. She knows everything on the menu by name and what it should be paired with.

9:30 – I’m gritting my teeth at this point and exhaling. (I once did this for two hours when I was dragged to see the Sex in the City 2 movie, which is an absolute piece of shit by the way) I would really like some cocaine. (I’ve never done cocaine)

10:20 – Michael Kors ain’t got shit on me for knowledge of the fashion industry.

10:30 – I have no idea what she ordered but the bill is $105 plus tip. She asks if we should go and I say yes. She makes no attempt to pull out her wallet, so I bite the tab, trying to conceal my rage.

10:40 – I’m not too impressed with the date, but being the gentleman I am, walk her to the door. She asks if I want to come in.

10:41 – I meet her mother, in a bathrobe, completely unfazed by my presence. She asks if I know how to fix a light socket. What the fuck?

10:47 – Light socket is fixed.

10:50 – In her room, score!

 

11:10 – She has taken me through every lotion and perfume and tin of makeup and brush on her vanity and told me the brand, the list price, and how much she actually got it for.

11:20 – She’s almost finished telling me the brand, location of purchase, and price of every shirt, skirt, pair of pants, and jacket in her closet. She is upset that her friend “stole” a bracelet from her 2 weeks ago, she wonders if I would help her look for it.

11:35 – She is literally crying, with tears down her cheeks, because I could not find the “stolen” bracelet behind, under, in her dresser/vanity/bathroom/bed/closet/night stand/carpet. (If it was stolen why did she ask me to look for it in her room?)

11:40 – She has stopped crying and suggests we watch a movie.

11:45 – Pay-Per-View, or something, Evil Cabin Zombies in the Woods Dead #17?

12:00am – Extensive commentary on the superior quality of acting begins, and ensues for the duration of the movie but she says she has a knot in her back and wants me to massage it out.

 

12:30 – Her shirt is off and she is dead set on me massaging out a very specific knot on her left shoulder which does not exist. (Whatever. Her shirt is off)

1:00 – Movie ends, my arms are getting sore, been kissing her neck and shoulders for a while, have not been able to get her to:

A) shut up.

B) turn over.

C) actively engage said kisses.

1:03 – Sequel to movie begins.

2:00 – She starts participating in the making out stuff, and politely tells me that for religious reasons she is saving her virginity until marriage. I completely understand, when it comes to faith beliefs like that, I respect whatever choices you make, cool, no hassle, and we start fooling around. I respect other peoples fairy tales.

2:30 – She lets me go down on her. I’m excited, I’ve finished her off about 2 or 3 times, I feel like a champ, but I’m still completely clothed and have not been touched in any way, shape, or form. As I’m still being all sexy-like, I casually say, “What about me?”

2:31 – She informs me that the bathroom is right over there, and tells me I can take care of myself in the shower. I think I’ll just hold it. (WTF?)

2:45 – We’ve been silent, cuddling. Hey, this is nice, I love cuddling, she is comfy, and she’s not talking, this is good.

2:50 – Out of silence, she whispers, “I see demons. Yours are black.”

2:52 – I shit myself. (Not literally) Maybe I could make it out that window.

3:00 – I learn that my demons are angry, and she is scared of them. She tells me that she has been exorcised on two occasions and it’s helped a lot. I don’t inquire as to how much, precisely.

3:05 – I try to be supportive because this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you just go around telling everybody, and more or less keep my mouth shut. God I want to try cocaine.

3:10 – Sleep for her, another hour of being stiff as a board, and scared before I pass out.

9:00am – Her mother knocks and I, all 5’10 170 lbs of me, attempts to hide under the blankets. Mother comes in and nonchalantly tells her that they are going to a friend’s house for dinner. Asks her if the older gentleman under the blanket wants to come.  I decline. I tell her I have to go return some overdue books at the library.

9:15am – I leave to return some overdue library books.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish everyday at 8am EST.

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Cherie – Chapter 4 – Ribbons

Cherie is coming around the corner of one of the display racks. She is very close to me. I kiss her. She smiles and keeps going.

“I’ve been wanting to do that since I first saw you today.”

“I know.”

Cherie and I had been keeping in touch through text since our 1st date. She’s just been busy working and going to school. I have been meaning to send her some scary movie ideas, but there isn’t much out there right now. Her favorite is John Carpenter’s Halloween. I made the theme her ringtone in my phone. So every time I get a text from her it plays. It’s weird and fun.

One of my texts was asking when I could see her again. She asked what my schedule looked like and I provided it to her. She said Saturdays were perfect, but she wanted to see if we could schedule something sooner. I liked that she said that. We decided on an early lunch on Tuesday. We were to meet at 11am for Taco Tuesday at El Rey. She had to be at class up at Temple by 2pm so that gave us plenty of time.

We had been in touch up until the day. I sent her pics from my weekend at the shore. I saw this amazing moonrise and sent her a photo. She asked if I was trying to make her jealous. I was secretly trying to get her to think about how great it was there. Maybe I can take her there sometime if things work out.

So Tuesday arrives and I head up to El Rey. I get there at 11am and they’re not open. I sit down on the bench outside. I go on my phone and look up their hours. They don’t open until 11:30. I text Cherie to let her know that I’ve arrived. She arrives at 11:15. She looks great. I’ll get to her outfit in a minute. She apologizes for being late. I laugh and tell her that El Rey doesn’t open until 11:30, so technically she is 15 minutes early!

She asks me what I want to do. I tell her there’s another place about a block away that also celebrates Taco Tuesday and I’m sure they’re open. She’s fine with that. We walk down to Drinkers Pub at 20th and Chestnut. I pull on the door. Locked. How is Drinkers not open yet either? I tell her we could wait or just walk back to El Rey, because if I have to choose I’d like to take her to the better place for lunch. She’s fine with that too. I again notice how laid back this California born beauty is. She’s always so chill and agreeable all the time. I love that. I have been around enough high-strung, crazy, hyperactive women for one lifetime. It’s truly refreshing.

We get back to El Rey and go in. I announce that we’re first. I love being first. Oh, let me get back her outfit. Black shoes with a nice solid heel. She’s 5’5″ so it makes her  almost my height. She has tight olive slacks, and is wearing a dark green and burgundy colored light jacket. But here is the amazing part that I didn’t initially notice. She’s wearing a long sleeve black shirt that has a deep V neck. It’s cut all the way down to her mid belly. There are criss-cross pieces of fabric all the way down.

Exactly like this:

Image result for low cut black v neck with criss cross

 

Fantastic. Sexy as hell. I can clearly see the swell of her breasts, and there is no way she’s wearing a bra. You can’t wear a bra with this top. I love it.

“You’re wearing that to class today, young lady?” She smiles. I try not stare but I do occasionally steal a little glance during lunch. The weather has been unseasonably warm lately. She says she was outside with her son the night before and the mosquitos apparently love her. I tell her it’s probably because she’s so sweet. She says that’s what her mom used to say to her. She always gets bitten up and they leave itchy welts all over her. She shows me one near her eyebrow. She says she was going to wear a skirt today but her legs are covered in little mosquito bites. Damn those pesky insects for denying me a view of those legs. I remember her telling me about how she played basketball and ran track in high school. Her pants are tight and I can clearly see that her landing gear is solid.

Lunch was great. The restaurant was ours for about a half hour until the lunch crowd kicked in. It got a little noisy, but not that bad. The staff was attentive and the food was good. We drank only sparkling water, but I did have one mango margarita. It wasn’t frozen but not bad. It tasted like there was hardly any alcohol in it. I let her taste it. She said she really doesn’t drink that much. Normally she sticks to beer. Two drinks and she’s tipsy, she claims. Noted. But when she was younger she says she smoked a lot of marijuana. Nothing special with pipes or bongs, just joints. I told her like coffee, I could take or leave weed. If I never had it again I wouldn’t care. I don’t mention my love for booze.

The conversation flows about what we’ve been up to for the last two weeks. Her work and school. She spends most of her waking hours working or studying. I tell her about my weekend at the shore with my siblings. Cleaning out the attic of the shore house, and getting Sam’s Pizza on the Wildwood boardwalk. About how my sister’s dog got out of the yard Saturday night, and how he was missing for two hours until we finally caught him. I toss out the idea that maybe we could go to the movies this Saturday. She seems interested.

It was a beautiful day in October so we decide after lunch to take a walk around the park in Rittenhouse Square. Notice I didn’t mention the bill? Oh… I just mentioned it. Damn. Let me put it this way. Valerie (Valerie – Love me Tinder) is 55 years old. She has her own apartment. She is CFO at a music school. She owns a rental property in Swarthmore, PA. Cherie is 26. Mother of a 6-year-old. Works two jobs, and goes to school for Neuroscience at Temple. There’s a difference! A BIG difference. I happily paid the damn bill!

We walk around Rittenhouse for a while and then wander down Walnut Street. We go into the Halloween store to look at all of the stuff. As I walk through the store and look at all of the costumes I think of what a good couples costume would be for us. Could I dress up as Bowie and she could be Iman? Could Cherie be the Sally Hemmings to my Thomas Jefferson?

We both notice that most of the costumes for girls are all sexy. I know everybody has covered that but it’s so true. I say something about a plaid skirt and she asks if I like that. I laugh and say who doesn’t? It’s if she knows something about me and our obvious age difference. I mean, her last guy of 8 years was way older than she was and my last two girlfriends were younger than I was, so it firmly stands to reason that it’s the case.  She smiles and continues to browse. She looks at a couple of costumes. Pausing at Nile Princess and Cleopatra, which I obviously approve. She says maybe she’ll be an Indian this year. Now I’m thinking of Pocahontas and John Smith. That would totally work. Much better than Plantation Owner and… well, I’ll stop there with the horrible jokes.

She is coming around the corner of one of the display racks. She is very close to me. I kiss her. She smiles and keeps going.

“I’ve been wanting to do that since I first saw you today.”

“I know.”

I don’t know how I feel about that. Her knowing my thoughts and intentions? She’s smarter than I thought. We wander around the store a bit more and then leave. It’s getting to be time for her to go to class.

We stroll back through Rittenhouse. This time she remembers where she parked her Saab. We walk over to 20th and Locust. The car is out front of the Catholic Church there. She’s standing close to me and I’m looking at her. She’s checking her GPS in her phone to see how long it will take her to get to Temple. I lean in and kiss her neck. Twice. Her skin is so soft. I really like her.

“I have to go.” she says. “So Saturday?”

“Umm.. Yes! I’ll see what’s playing at the movies and find out if anything that we’d like is showing.”

She says that sounds good as she kisses me on the lips. I hold her for a moment and steal a second kiss. She smiles, gets in her car and off she goes to school.

I light a cig. (I don’t smoke around non-smoking girls I want to kiss) I head over to work at the salon. I figure I’ll wait until tonight to thank her for making time with me today. Don’t want to seem to urgent. I work at the spa from 3 to 8pm. I get this text from her at 5pm. “Guess who dissected a pig today?”

“You’re awesome! Good thing you didn’t order pork at lunch today!”

“Lol that’s true!” she says. “I felt bad for the poor piggy, but my partner made me do all of the cutting. You’re awesome too.”

I liked that last part. The next day, I told her I had found a potential scary movie we could go see. I sent it to her. She responded that it looked okay and we could go to that. Then she says: “I don’t get scared easily lol but it seems okay to me. You’ll probably hold on to me during the scary parts, lol.”

“Then I hope it’s really scary.”

So we’ll see how it goes on our 3rd date on Saturday. I really like this girl and I hope she sticks around.

 

 

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Marissa – Coffee Touche’

It sounded like a metal bank vault door was repeatedly slamming shut.

Tou·ché
exclamation
 
  1. (in fencing) used as an acknowledgment of a hit by one’s opponent.
    • also used as an acknowledgment during a discussion of a good or clever point made at one’s expense by another person.

“I decided to meet up for coffee with a girl that I had been talking to online. We talked for 45 minutes or so — normal first date topics like family, travel, etc. She then asks, ‘Where did you do your undergrad?’

“Now, I have a pretty good job, but that question sets the bar pretty high for a guy who didn’t go to college. She is not only assuming that I went to college but is also assuming that I am taking part in some type of post-graduate school.

“When I said that I was in a band for awhile and then went straight into the workforce she looked at me as if she’d never heard of such a thing. Apparently, I didn’t pass all of her minimum requirements to be considered human. After a brief pause, she broke off her shocked stare, placed her hand on her forehead in a fashion that covered her eyes, inhaled briefly and followed it by a valley-girl, ‘Eew!’ She took her phone out of her purse and whispered to herself as she typed, ‘He … didn’t … even … go … to … college …’ I then saw the left thumb hold the shift key as she deliberately pressed the exclamation point key once … ! Twice … !! Three times … !!! In reality, each one of those keystrokes was a simple tapping of a small piece of plastic, but, in my head, it sounded like a metal bank vault door was repeatedly slamming shut.

“She pressed a few more buttons on the phone, presumably sending this text message to her total BFF. She put the phone away, looked at me, and after taking a deep breath said, ‘Well that is okay. Not everybody is capable of going to college.’ She put on a fake smile followed by an awkward laugh and just stared at me awkwardly. I couldn’t believe that she’d react so rudely to something and then try to act as if it didn’t happen. Perhaps she still believed that, like a child playing hide and seek, if you covered your eyes you would disappear.

“After staring at each other awkwardly for a few seconds, I finally broke the silence by saying, ‘Wow, okay. So, yeah… I, um guess it is about time to get out of here?’ I stood up and took my trash to the trash can and she followed me out the door. I turned and began walking down the street and she followed closely and said, ‘How far away is your car?’ This girl was expecting a ride!

“So, I stopped and turned around and said, ‘Oh, I am about a block this way. Where did you park? She replied, ‘Oh, I took the bus here. I don’t have a drivers license.’

“Now, I am normally not a rude person. Even in that situation, I was going to just walk away and let that be that, but I just couldn’t pass this opportunity up. I looked at her right in the eyes and said, ‘Eew!’ Pulled out my cellphone and typed, ‘she … doesn’t … even … have … a … license … ! … !! … !!!’ I then put my phone away, looked up at her, smiled and said, ‘That’s okay! Not everybody is capable of driving a car! Lucky for you, the bus stop is right over there. I hope you don’t have to wait too long!’

“I wish I took a picture of the look on her face as I walked away. It was priceless.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am EST.

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My Young Life: The Amazing Spider-Man #252

I knew that whenever something major happened in an issue in regard to a very popular character, that book would always become more valuable in the future.

Back in May of 1984 something wonderful happened. Marvel comics introduced the “New” Spider-Man. It was the same Spider-Man as before except they introduced the black costume. The cover was beautiful and harkened back to the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15, which was the first appearance of Spider-Man back in 1962. It was actually released the day after I was born.

I collected comic books my entire childhood into my early twenties. So in 1984 I was twenty-two years old and still into comics. I saw that the black costume was happening and told my dad about it. I knew that whenever something major happened in an issue in regard to a very popular character, that book would always become more valuable in the future. The death of Spider-Man’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Spidey #121–122 June–July 1973) are very valuable books. Google Detective Comics #27 and you’ll really see what I mean.

I run all of this information by my father and being the man he is gets on the case. We also enlist the help of my brother-in-law. As my dad always said: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

We all go out and find as many copies of that issue as possible. By the end of the month we have collected 200 mint condition copies of the book. The cover price sixty cents. So I have spent $120 on 200 copies of the same comic book. Sounds ridiculous.

I put every one in a plastic comic book bag and place the lot in the bottom drawer of a black filing cabinet I have in my bedroom that houses my comic book collection.

That’s where they remained for three decades.

Thirty years later in 2014, I decided to see what they were worth and began selling off the comics on EBay. Each one sold for between $75 – $120 per book.

In 1984 a twenty-two year old kid invested $120 in 200 copies of the same comic book. In 2014 a fifty-two year old man redeemed that investment to the tune of over $17,000.

There’s comics you buy and save because they bring you great joy, and there those that you know that if you hold on to them long enough, you’ll make a pile of cash on. But which ones do you buy today?

 

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Tales of Rock – Brian Wilson Gets Kicked Out of the Beach Boys

He asks others in the studio if there are any more “hash joints” left and idly comments that the LSD is starting to kick in, but at the same time rules the studio musicians present with an iron fist; for example, he instructs a guitarist exactly which strings on the guitar he wants him to strum.

If you listen to the ancillary tracks on the superb 2011 reissue The Smile Sessions by the Beach Boys, you’ll hear Brian Wilson experimenting with drugs while in complete control of his music. He asks others in the studio if there are any more “hash joints” left and idly comments that the LSD is starting to kick in, but at the same time rules the studio musicians present with an iron fist; for example, he instructs a guitarist exactly which strings on the guitar he wants him to strum.

But holding such a firm grasp on his mind was another matter. Shattered by a lack of support from his fellow band mates in his new musical direction and driven mad trying to compete with the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was partly a response to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, which had been a response to the Beatles’ Rubber Soul), Wilson shelved Smile, which would have been his masterpiece.

Subsequent years were not kind to Wilson. He got seriously addicted to cocaine, his weight ballooned and he descended into mental illness and was put under the care of a manipulative psychologist named Eugene Landy.

In the early ’80s, he was fired from the Beach Boys; a once unthinkable move for a band built around his songwriting talents. He’s made many comebacks since, even rejoining the Beach Boys. Still, one can’t help but wonder what might have been if he’d recorded all the songs he’s written over the years that were only heard by those in proximity to the piano in a sandbox in his living room. For his part, however, Wilson doesn’t altogether condemn drug use; speaking to a Canadian radio station in 2011, he credited marijuana with helping him write Pet Sounds and LSD with an assist on “California Girls.”

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Beach Boys, but Brian Wilson is an absolutely elegant songwriter and musician. A musical genius. Please see the film, Love and Mercy.

 

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Emily – Pretend Sugarbaby

I love Emily. She’s a doll. 4’11, sweet girl that looks 15.  I’m supposed to meet her at 6pm. It’s around 4:30 and I have some time to kill. I stop at 1518 on Sansom for a glass of wine. I chat with the owner about business. He introduces me to one of the regulars, named Sam. He’s been a barber that has a salon over Oscar’s bar a few doors down. I didn’t even know there was anything over that dive.

I like the guy. He has all these great tales from the old days. Sinatra, Martin, etc. He’s well into his sixties. He told me cut Eddie Fisher’s hair back in the 60’s. I’m thinking my regular stylist hasn’t been doing the best job with my hair lately. I want to go to this old Philly guy. That’s who should be cutting my hair. A pro that’s been doing it for four decades and has good stories. So he gives me his card and I tell him I’ll come see him when I need a cut.

He tells me not to let anyone else in his salon cut it. It has to be him. I promise the old guy I’ll do that.

I have a few wine’s with him and listen to more stories before I leave for my meet up with Emily at and Asian fusion bar called Dan Dan.

My buddy Chet is there bartending, so no matter what time it is, it’ll be happy hour all night for me. I order my usual chardonnay with a side of ice.

Emily shows up a little while after that and she looks adorable as always. Black lacy top, black tights, high heels, long lashes. She looks hot.

She orders her usual go to, a whiskey and coke.

She said her life has been much better since we last hung out. She’s still employed at the restaurant, but she’s working mostly events upstairs now. She has landed a gig at Live Nation which she is super amped about. Planning and managing live musical events and concerts is what she really wants to do, and getting this job has gotten her one step closer to her goal.

Emily expresses to me that she feels better about herself and no longer feels like she’s a piece of meat to anyone. She was alone for awhile and worked on herself and I think that’s great. Hopefully what I told her last time I saw her helped.

Recently she’s met someone she really likes. She met him in Florida, but he’s from Indiana. I’m all for long distance relationships, but Indiana is a bit of a drive from Philly. But I’m rooting for these kids. She says he’s good to her and she really likes him.

She orders up some pot stickers and wings. The food is great at Dan Dan, and Emily just doesn’t go out much because she’s always working and has little money. She’s loving it.

She turns to me. “See those two middle-aged women across the bar?”

“Yes.”

“They totally think you’re my Sugar Daddy!”

“Really?”

“Oh yea. I can tell just the way they’re looking at us.”

“Oh gosh!”

“No. I like it! I think it’s fun!”

“Okay.” (I’m totally loving it)

Nate hooks us up with the happy hour pricing that goes beyond 7:00pm. We discuss more about her life and I tell her what’s happening with the phicklephilly and the soon to be open fitness center.

We’ve been there for a little while and we know we’re ready to go soon. She excuses herself to use the ladies room. I see my opportunity. I grab the bill from Chet and quickly pay it. When she returns and I’m siting there with my blazer on she knows what’s up.

“You got the bill?”

“Well you are my Sugar Baby.”

“Where we going now Daddy?”

We head over to the Sofitel Hotel to the Libete Lounge. It’s a dark posh bar that’s quiet and the music is always soft and in the background, not coming at you.  My buddy Liam the bartender and the girls are working but I just want to show Emily the place. She would never have a drink here. I’m trying to broaden her horizons.

“Wow. This place is so nice!”

“Yea, and it’s right across from where you work and you’ve never been here.”

I go with my usual chardonnay and baby goes with whiskey. They server brings us the little snack tray with the nuts, popcorn and olives. I know it doesn’t take much to impress a 23-year-old girl, but I don’t see little Emily that much and I really enjoy her company.

We only hang there for the one drink because I have my grand finale planned. I tell her I want to take her one more place. She is more than game. I can tell she’s having a good time. We split the bill and head over to The Gran Caffe L’Aquilia on Chestnut Street. She’s never heard of it, but I know she’ll love it. Great two-story Italian place.

What she doesn’t know is that I know the bartender upstairs through  my buddy Church, and he gives me the hookup. But I also know one of the owners because he comes in the salon to tan. But what strengthened that relationship is that one day he lost a gift card in one of the rooms. I found it a few days later under the bureau when I was sweeping, and returned it to him. He doesn’t speak much English but when I saw him in the salon the next time and whipped out his lost card, his face lit up like it was Christmas day. That card must have been loaded. Without the card, whatever money was on there would have been lost if I hadn’t returned it to him. My coworker, Summer told me I should have just kept it, but as you know, she’s a cunning little outlaw.

I order a chardonnay and I don’t remember what she ordered. She says she’s had a tough week. Just roommate stuff and the usual problems that most twenty somethings in this city face everyday.

I order her some calamari and we rip into that. It’s delicious. Then I start telling her about the gelato flights they serve here. I tell her she must try it. She’s had a few drinks and she is ready to roll with that dessert.

“Luciano, could you please do the honors and pick the best flavors you have?”

“As long as one of them is pistachio!” Emily chirps.

He brings them out and they look amazing. They serve the five gelatos each one on it’s own long, elegant spoon. I tell her I can’t eat a lot of this type of food, so I’m just going to use my fork to take a little nip off the end of each one just to get the taste and then she can have the lion’s share of each spoon.

She agrees, and I tap the first one. I take a tiny bit off the end and then watch as this woman/child grabs the spoon and puts the whole dollop into her mouth in one bite.

This happens four more times and each one is exquisite. I’m glad she wanted the pistachio because it was especially good.

Emily is raving about how wonderful it all is and she’s so happy and is having a fabulous night. What Emily may not realize is I’m showing her what it’s like to be out on a date with me. But the bigger lesson here is: Emily, this is how men should treat you when they take you out. Wine and dine you and treat you like a lady, instead of getting you loaded and trying to finger you in the back seat of some car.

Luciano suddenly appears again with a tint glass cup of pistachio for the lady. He’s a class act and Emily is absolutely delighted.

She tears into it like a teenage girl on her 15th birthday. (yea..I make these references just to give it a bit of lechery)

So after two Chardonnay, her cocktail, and order of calamari, and a flight of their best gelato, the bill comes to $22.

Yea. Hookup. I pay the bill and she throws in some for the tip. We say our goodbyes and thank Luciano for the great service and hospitality. She’s still raving about what an absolutely wonderful night she’s had with me. She hugs me and I kiss her cheek.

“How are you getting home?”

“I’ll take the subway.”

“No sugarbaby of mine rides the subway.

I call her an UBER and send her on her way.

Little Emily smiles and waves as the dark sedan disappears into the night.

I turn and make the short walk home down 17th street back to Rittenhouse. I light a cig and breath in what is left of this beautiful evening.

 

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Why Philly Icon McGlinchey’s Bar May Never Be The Same

McGlinchey’s is a bar I frequent with my friend Johnny R. Thought I’d share this piece with you.

Recently, a radical upgrade was unveiled at McGlinchey’s Bar: The infinite towel, that baby-blue loop of fabric and bacteria used to dry the hands of the thousands who were brave enough — or drunk enough — not to care, has been replaced with single-use paper towels. The bathroom, which wouldn’t be an incongruous setting for the climactic scene in a horror film, was left otherwise undisturbed.

That is to say, change comes incrementally to McGlinchey’s, a cash-only, dirt-cheap dive that has been owned by the same family since 1952 and that processed the arrival of a citywide smoking ban in 2008 with a shrug and a fresh ashtray. (The bar was granted an exemption because such a small portion of its revenue is from food.) McGlinchey’s, and its upstairs companion, Tops Bar, remain among the last great bastions for Center City smokers who find puffing outside on a street corner beneath their dignity.

“There’s less smokers every year,” said Sheldon Sokol, 68, the co-owner. “Eventually, we’ll have to go no smoking, because the smokers will all die off.”

He doesn’t smoke or drink himself. (“It’s bad for your innards,” he said.)

For now, McGlinchey’s remains as smoggy as ever.
“It’s going to be a two-shower night,” a friend grumbled as we made our way through the haze one recent evening. But it was a loving gripe: For him and others, McGlinchey’s is steeped in Philly nostalgia.

“It’s sort of been a place of quiet contemplation for depressives and alchies, which I was part of for a while,” he said. Maybe it’s the churchlike afternoon light filtering softly through the geometric stained-glass windows, or the smoke-darkened duck-hunter mural (an old billboard that was recently, clumsily repainted) looming like some devotional artwork, or the sense of communion provided by the wraparound bar. It’s the ideal place for drinking alone together.

We chose a vinyl-upholstered booth, and a waitress with pink hair and a fanny pack for a cash register brought us glass mugs of beer. The idiosyncratic price points, like $2.55 for a Yuengling, always seem to result in a pile of change on the table. (According to Sokol, prices were initially geared so you could easily tip a quarter a drink. They’ve limited the increases to a small percentage each year, so as not to anger his price-conscious customers.)
The waitress also put in our food order — which meant she had to go into the kitchen and microwave the chili dogs herself. “It tastes like SpaghettiOs on a hot dog,” a friend said. This was taken as an endorsement.

McGlinchey’s is the kind of place that accumulates tobacco stains. And lore. It provided the backdrop for the haunting series of portraits by photographer Sarah Stolfa that were collected in the 2009 book The Regulars. The jukebox, once heavy on the Cure, Bowie, the Smiths, had its own Facebook page, until it was usurped by TouchTunes.

 

McGlinchey’s Bar and Tops Bar 
259 S. 15th St., 215-735-1259, mcglincheys.com.
When to go: When you’re too broke to afford drinks anywhere else. When you want to be with other people. When you want to be alone. McGlinchey’s is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. Tops Bar is open 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bring: Beer snobs, smokers, Ms. Pac-Man aficionados, and anyone you don’t need to try too hard to impress.
What to order: There’s a surprisingly strong selection of craft beers here, including local favorites like Flying Fish IPA and Philadelphia Brewing’s Kenzinger. The $3.95 citywide special is a Yuengling and a shot of Heaven Hill. Or go high-end: You can get the Glenlivet 15-year-old for $6.95.
Bathroom situation: Richly graffiitied and dimly lighted. The men’s room, I’m told, requires a spotter (or a zeal for exhibitionism) as there is neither a lock nor a stall door. If you can, use the bathroom at Tops.
Sounds like: What have you wrought, TouchTunes? A world in which, on a single evening, the soundtrack ricocheted between No Doubt, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, and, yes, Enya, at a noisy 98 decibels. Upstairs, at Tops, it was a much calmer 82 decibels, dominated by a rattling air conditioner.

 

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